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Is Weed Legal in the UK in 2023?

The new year could see a multitude of changes in laws surrounding cannabis. The question on everyone's lips is, “Is weed legal in the UK?” In December, WHO, The World Health Organization moved to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention, pushing the UN to force a vote on the subject, which was rejected but still progressed. In November, in an appeal brought by Kanavape, French high courts ruled on hemp, including CBD Flower, that they are outside the UN single convention on narcotics, and an Italian court followed suit the week after. Read below to find out the latest legalization news in the UK in 2023.

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Weed legalisation UK 2023

Will there be a decision on weed legalization UK in 2023? This is a valid question? Over the past few years, cannabis legislation in the UK has undergone many changes. In fact, at the 2021 GCI Virtual Summit, we learned that perspectives surrounding CBD are changing.

But what will happen in 2023? Will weed be legal in the UK?

At the Extract, we've done our research. We think this will happen in 2023 with weed legalization in the UK and cannabis legalization in the UK.

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A history of cannabis legalization

Before we talk about whether or not weed will be legal in the UK, we should break down the history of cannabis legislation.

Since we've discussed this before, we have also talked about how CBD can help people like those who suffer from panic attacks and how CBD, when accompanied by exercise, has been shown to help people with Sciatica. We'll summarise what we know here before delving into the meat of our article. Large brands like Nike have endorsed hemp and its benefits on our carbon footprint per acre grown. UK-based research has shown the effects of CBD on blood flow in the brain.

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UK weed legalization began popping up in 1929, in line with the Dangerous Drugs Act. In 1971, the growth of cannabis — across the board — was restricted in the UK. Hemp was used in the shipping industry and many industries.

However, in 2001, weed legalization in the UK began to change for the better with the Misuse of Drugs Regulations. 2001 is when things began to change, whether or not weed is legal in the UK.

People were allowed to grow cannabis and provided a license from the Home Office. However, this cannabis could only be used for research purposes.

In 2015, UK weed legalization changed — for medical purposes only. Thanks to the Misuse of Drugs (Designation), patients could now be granted cannabis prescriptions by the NHS.

The situation has remained the same since 2015. Thankfully, organizations like Grow Pharma are working to raise awareness surrounding cannabis legalization UK.

As the British public becomes more and more aware of the benefits of cannabis, we believe that weed legalization can only change things for the better.

What does this mean for CBD?

When people ask, “Is weed legal in the UK?” Many often include CBD in that question, but they are two very different things. Unlike cannabis, CBD is not a controlled substance. This means that CBD is legal in the UK. However, CBD products must meet specific standards to be deemed legal.

For example, CBD products cannot contain more than 1mg of THC. While CBD is not a controlled substance, THC — the psychoactive compound in cannabis — is still illegal in the UK.

Therefore, CBD manufacturers must stick to these stringent guidelines when manufacturing their CBD products. While this is not always the case, failure to do this could result in these manufacturers finding themselves in trouble with the Food Safety Association (FSA).

When will weed be legal in the UK?

At The Extract, we might not be sure that cannabis legalization UK will change in  2023. However, what we do know is that things look promising. We aren't just saying that.

In 2008, Boris Johnson was one of the first Conservative MPs to call for the legalization of medical cannabis. His reasoning behind this was that medical cannabis could be a game-changer for individuals who suffer from chronic pain.

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However, with Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister, we believe that the UK now has the potential to legalize cannabis. According to BuzzFeed, Johnson hired Blair Gibbs as a special advisor.

Mr. Gibbs has called for the reform of cannabis laws for a long time. He held this position at 10 Downing Street for a little over a year. Despite his short stint as an advisor to Boris Johnson, we believe that his beliefs surrounding cannabis could have had a lasting effect. Legislation has opened access for exceptional cases like Charlie Hughes, a child patient approved for cannabis. 

Make sure you follow The Extract on social media for the latest legalization news UK.

is weed legal in the uk

The impact of the cannabis situation abroad

The answer to “Is weed legal in the UK” will be heavily influenced by countries who have gone before us. The progress made throughout Europe and the discussions in Scotland will undoubtedly have a bearing on Boris Johnson's decision.

This is because countries like the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have decriminalized cannabis, something that many would like to see in the next round of weed legalization UK.

Furthermore, Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic have completely legalized medical cannabis. In these countries, the number of medical cannabis patients is rising, proving that relaxed attitudes towards cannabis could be beneficial. Countries like France continue to pass laws on CBD and cannabis.

There is strong interest in the legalization of weed UK, as Scotland seems to be making moves toward legalizing medical cannabis. Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, has spoken up in favour of making medical cannabis legal.

Failure to jump on the cannabis legalization UK bandwagon could make the government look outdated and archaic. As a nation that has consistently been on the cutting-edge of medical legislation and technology, this is not an angle Boris Johnson wants to be stuck with.

Based on this, we can safely assume that UK weed legalization will make moves towards the legalization of weed UK in 2022. However, it might not happen in 2022, as it might take a little more time to get the go-ahead.

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What should the government take into consideration before changing weed legalization UK?

We believe that there are several factors that the UK should consider before deciding whether weed is legal in the UK. These factors could potentially positively sway their decision.

Upon considering these factors, the British government could realize that various individuals would benefit from UK weed legalization.

Health benefits

Adding cannabis to your wellness routine can have a host of benefits. Studies have shown that cannabis can provide relief from seizures. Many individuals who cannot take seizure medication have been able to control their seizures with cannabis. The fact that some suppliers, even in the US, like Diamond, have been found to have the incorrect ingredients on their packaging

In addition to this, medical cannabis is an effective treatment for insomnia. A large number of the British population suffers from insomnia. Changing cannabis legalization in the UK could potentially improve their quality of life.

That's not all; the anti-inflammatory properties in cannabis can help with arthritis. While reports are mostly anecdotal, the legalization of cannabis could lead to more studies on the topic.

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Accessing the supply of medical cannabis in the UK can be difficult. This can be discouraging for patients who try to access cannabis in other ways. By doing this, they could potentially end up with a high-THC, low-CBD strain of cannabis.

Changing UK weed legalization and regulating it would change things for the better. By doing this, the British government will be able to test and approve certain strains of cannabis.

As a result, British citizens will have access to tested, approved strains of cannabis.

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Key takeaways

At The Extract, we believe that the British government has a lot to gain by answering the public's cries for “Is weed legal in the UK” and “when will weed be legal in the UK”… The benefits far outweigh the negatives. Choosing to change cannabis legalization UK could be a game-changer for British citizens. Let's wait and see when cannabis will be legal in the UK.

While we might not see this change in 2023, we believe this could happen soon. After all, legalizing and regulating cannabis is a highly progressive position, and the UK does not want to be left behind.

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Stephanie Fernandez

Stephanie Fernandez is a copywriter and content creator with a background in anthropology. When not writing, she can be found trying out new recipes or listening to true crime podcasts. She's enthusiastic about video games, rescue dogs, the American version of The Office, sneakers, and the Oxford comma.

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